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Amy Lou Jenkins is the award-winning author of Every Natural Fact: Five Seasons of Open-Air Parenting

"If you combined the lyricism of Annie Dillard, the vision of Aldo Leopold, and the gentle but tough-minded optimism of Frank McCourt, you might come close to Amy Lou Jenkins.Tom Bissell author of The Father of All Things 

"Sentence by sentence, a joy to read."   Phillip Lopate, Author of Waterfront

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Featured Author, Heide Kaminski

It's been difficult to think about writing with the events of September 11th, occupying all our thoughts. What will happen? Will we have war? Will we be safe? Heidi Kaminski reminds us that our words are important. We must keep writing. Our words are important. Read her short story about a small boy and his September 11th flight.




Bio: I am the fortysomething mother of four teen girls (one step daughter, one exchange student

 included) and one preschool son. I immigrated from Germany in 1984. I have one book for children published in Germany. Currently I write online about preschoolers, teenagers, spirituality and domestic violence. All my writing is based on personal experiences. My latest piece is a little story about a fictional passenger on the fateful flight from Boston to L.A.:

Visit my homepage at

This article sponsored by:

God, Forgive Them
by Heide Kaminski
copyright 2001

Little Toby was very excited. It was his first time ever to fly on an airplane. He was accompanying his mommy to visit his aunt, whom he had never seen before. They had to get up very early, but Toby was so excited, that he had no trouble rising out of bed.

Daddy drove mommy and Toby to the airport in Boston. Even though it was early in the morning the place was busy and lit up like the shoppingmall, mommy loves to go to. Daddy hugged and kissed Toby and his mom good-bye. “I’ll see you in a week! Have a Grrrrreat time!!!”

Toby wiggled in his seat. The nice man next to mommy had offered him his window seat, but Toby was too short to really see out the window. He wanted to see all the lights everyone was ooohing about.

“Mo-om! Can I take my seat belt off???” he whined.

“Mommy, “ he lowered his voice. “That man talks funny.” He pointed at the man, who had offered him the window seat.

“Shhh! That’s not a polite thing to say!” Mommy hushed to Toby.

The man flashed a grin.

“I am sorry!” Toby’s mom said bashfully, “but he’s only three...” “Ah!” the man nodded and then pulled out some papers from his brief case. A little bit of curiosity made Toby’s mom peak at the papers. “Hm, “ she thought, staring at the hieroglyphs, “must be Arabic or something...”

A stewardess came along the aisle. As she reached Toby’s seat, she stopped and smiled. “Well, hello, young man! Isn’t this exciting?” “Yeah!” Toby exclaimed. “I’m going on ‘cation to Los Anges!”


Soon the effects of the early morning rising took over Toby’s body. Flying was a bit more boring than he had thought. So he drifted off to sleep.

When he woke up, his mommy’s eyes were red and shiny. “Mommy, are you crying?” he asked with all the concern a three year old can muster.

“I am OK, honey,” she said. Toby stretched and looked over his mom. The nice man was gone. People across the aisle seemed to be crying too.

“What are they doing?” Toby inquired as they all seemed to be whispering something.

“They are praying.” Mommy answered. Just then Toby spotted the nice man, who talked funny and who had given him his window seat. He came walking down the aisle.

“Mom, he’s got a gun!!!”

The man suddenly turned to Toby and pointed the gun straight into Toby’s face. “Wanta touch it?” he grinned. “No!” Toby’s mom screamed throwing her body into the way. The man jerked his head with a mean “hm!” and as he walked off he turned again flashing an evil smile at Toby’s mom.

“It would be a lot quicker than what he has ahead of him!” he said in broken English.

“He’s not nice!” Toby frowned.

Then there was a blast of noise, a flash of fiery light, a split second of unbearable heat and uncontrolled screaming and then... silence.

Toby felt floating up above a sight he did not comprehend.

“Mommy, mommy! Where are you!” he screamed. But he couldn’t hear his voice. It was just in his head. “I’m right here sweetheart! Right here! Take my hand.”

His mom floated up to him.

He took her hand.

“Mommy, what happened?” Toby asked.


“Time to go home, sweets. Oh, my, look at the mess we made. This will take a long time to heal...”

Toby just did not understand. He saw fire, smoke, broken buildings below. From the rubble the other people from the plane were emerging. And there were many more, whom he had never seen before. They were shaking their heads with great sadness in their eyes. The stewardess Toby remembered was emerging now. He stretched her hand to help someone else out of the debris.

“Mommy!” Toby pointed at the stewardess and the one she was helping. “It’s the man, who talks funny!”

“I am so sorry!” he gasped. “I can’t believe I had to be one of them! I am so sorry!”

“It’s all right now,” the stewardess hugged him. “Your soul is free now! Come home with us!”

With amazement Toby held out his hand. The man put his shaking hand into Toby’s and they followed the trail of souls into the light...